By Jeff White
CHARLOTTESVILLE — By now, Meghan Lenczyk has undoubtedly seen a replay and can break down her magical moment at Klöckner Stadium.
Minutes after Sunday’s thriller ended, however, the senior forward couldn’t offer much analysis about the goal that gave the UVa women’s soccer team a 3-2 win over top-ranked Boston College.
“It was just a flash,” Lenczyk said with a sheepish smile. “Got a great ball from Sinead. I honestly don’t really remember what happened. I just found an opening and finished it.”
The goal, Lenczyk’s team-leading ninth of the season, ended the game with 3:18 left in the first extra period. It also capped a comeback in which the sixth-ranked Cavaliers pulled to 2-2 on senior Colleen Flanagan’s goal — only the second of her college career — in the 77th minute.
In OT, senior midfielder Sinead Farrelly said, “I just crossed it to Meg, and she happened to step in front and chest it by the defender and was able to hit it over the keeper. So it was a really good goal, a really good finish by her.”
At the other end of the field, junior goalkeeper Chantel Jones saw the final sequence unfold and watched spellbound as the ball left Lenczyk’s right foot.
“When it went in, I didn’t even feel my body,” said Jones, who then raced to join her teammates’ celebration. “I felt like I floated all the way down there. It just felt so good to win like that.”
Lenczyk’s first eight goals this season included a penalty kick that gave Virginia a 1-0 victory over Connecticut in double overtime Aug. 29. Her game-winner Sunday was even more dramatic, for it secured the Wahoos’ first-ever victory over a top-ranked opponent.
“It feel great,” Jones said, “especially at home, in front of all our fans, to show them we can beat the best, and to show BC that we’re not just going to sit around, and to show the ACC that we’re a team that you gotta worry about.”
A weekend that included several disappointing losses by UVa teams, field hockey, football and men’s soccer among them, ended on a high note Sunday.
The men’s golf team won the Gary Koch Intercollegiate tournament in Tampa, Fla., the volleyball team rallied to beat Clemson in five sets at Mem Gym to secure its first ACC victory, and then Steve Swanson’s soccer team made history.
“Hopefully it sends a message,” Swanson said of UVa’s victory. “The biggest message, though, I hope it sends is to our team, about the kind of caliber of team that we can be if we keep working at it.”
Coming into the game, UVa was 0-18-1 against teams ranked No. 1. The tie came against North Carolina in the 2004 ACC tournament final. (Virginia won the title on penalty kicks, but the game is officially considered a tie.)
“This was a big opportunity for us, and we all knew that coming in,” Farrelly said. “So coming away with the win, especially since they’re No. 1, just gives us more confidence and gets us ready for UNC [Friday night at Klöckner].”
The ‘Hoos (2-1 ACC, 8-2-1 overall) were coming off a Thursday night game in rainy College Park, Md. Virginia twice fought back to pull even before falling 3-2 to Maryland.
Lauren Alwine’s goal in the fifth minute Sunday put the Cavaliers up 1-0, but the Eagles (2-1, 9-1) rallied behind one of the nation’s top players, Victoria DiMartino. After the sophomore forward’s second goal, about 12 minutes into the second half, the ‘Hoos found themselves trailing 2-1.
“It was tough,” Lenczyk said. “I think what really helped was that against Maryland on Thursday, we kept coming back from being down.”
Swanson said: “I think there’s a real special quality about this team. We’ve been down before. We were down late against Penn State and we came back [to tie]. Even against Maryland on Thursday I thought they showed a lot of grit. And today, against a very good team, to come back the way we did, when our obviously our legs were tired from Thursday’s game, it was a great team win.”
The victory was the 250th of Swanson’s coaching career. His record in 11 seasons at UVa is 146-58-30.
“We had the right mentality today and a lot of determination and enough soccer at the end of the day to get the win,” he said.
The Cavaliers played without sophomore forward Caroline Miller, their fourth-leading scorer. Miller suffered a knee injury at Maryland, but an MRI showed that “everything’s intact,” Swanson said. “We’re just waiting to see how it responds to treatment.”
Even without Miller, UVa broke through Sunday.
“It just proves how persistent we are and how much we can fight,” Jones said. “We’re not going to give up.”